Happening Today

Governor’s Council, Hunger Free America, and more

— U.S. Rep. Richard Neal and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno visit Oasis Food Bank at Springfield Central High School to thank volunteers,10:45 a.m.

Governor’s Council holds its weekly assembly and may vote on whether to confirm Appeals Court Justice Dalila Argaez Wendlandt as a member of the Supreme Judicial Court, 12 p.m.

— U.S. Rep. James McGovern and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York join chef Tom Colicchio and officials from Hunger Free America for a virtual press conference to release the organization’s poll of low-income Americans and the barriers they face to economic mobility, 2 p.m.

For the most comprehensive listing of calendar items, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall – free trial subscriptions available), as well as MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.

Today’s Stories

Reminder to readers: SHNS Coronavirus Tracker available for free

A reminder to our readers as the coronavirus crisis unfolds: The paywalled State House News Service, which produces MASSterList, is making its full Coronavirus Tracker available to the community for free on a daily basis each morning via ML. SHNS Coronavirus Tracker.

The coronavirus numbers: 20 new deaths, 10,319 total deaths, 2,225 new cases

WCVB has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Help on the way: State issues guidelines to hospitals on distributing vaccines, possibly starting next month

WBUR’s Martha Bebinger reports that doses of Pfizer’s new coronavirus vaccine could arrive in Massachusetts as early as next month, in batches of 975 doses, and state officials and others are issuing guidance on how the vaccines should be stored and urging hospitals to identify the first front-line workers to get vaccinations.

The Globe’s Martin Finucane, meanwhile, reports on national efforts to establish vaccination priorities, if and when doses become available. Experts have recommendations on who should get shots first: health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities.


Not soon enough: Elderly continue to perish as pandemic rages on

A new coronavirus vaccine couldn’t come soon enough for elderly residents, who have borne the brunt of COVID-19 deaths in Massachusetts and across the nation during the pandemic. The latest tragic example, via CBS Boston: “6 Residents Die After COVID Outbreak In Andover Assisted Living Facility.”

And here’s another shocking fact, via the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett: “So many Massachusetts seniors died (last) May that the state’s Medicare enrollment decreased for a month, new state data shows.” Meanwhile, the state’s Medicaid program for the poor has seen a major surge in enrollment during the pandemic, reports SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall).

Another pandemic casualty: Public schools see enrollment plunge by 37,000

This isn’t exactly a vote of confidence in public schools’ ability to handle the pandemic. From the Globe’s James Vaznis: “Public school enrollment across Massachusetts dropped by nearly 4 percent this fall, a significant decrease that largely reflects a wave of families who have pulled their children out of public schools, frustrated that classrooms remain closed because of the pandemic, state officials announced Tuesday.”

MassLive’s Melissa Hanson and SHNS’s Katie Lannan (pay wall) have more on the decline in enrollment by more than 37,000 students. CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg reports Brookline has lost 11 percent of its student population since the start of the pandemic. But it’s not all about in-person versus remote/hybrid learning. Schoenberg explains.

Take-home MCAS tests? It may happen

Speaking of pandemic-era education, SHNS’s Katie Lannan reports that state officials are “exploring the possibility of administering some MCAS tests in a take-home format in the spring and are looking into options for exams scheduled for this winter.”

But MassLive’s Melissa Hanson reports some are skeptical about holding MCAS tests, with one teacher saying it would be a “logistical nightmare” for districts that have been fully remote.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Thanksgiving 2020: Food banks overwhelmed by demand this year

The Globe’s David Abel reports on the surge in the number of people who don’t have enough money for the basic ingredients of a Thanksgiving dinner this year, thanks to the pandemic and economic downturn. The result: Food banks are struggling to meet the huge demand.

Boston Globe

Legal workout: Healey sues Boston Sports Clubs over pandemic membership fees

The BBJ’s Gintautas Dumcius has the latest on one of the least popular area companies during the pandemic: “Town Sports International LLC, the owner of Boston Sports Clubs, allegedly violated state consumer protection laws after failing to honor membership cancellations and refund requests, according to a complaint from Attorney General Maura Healey’s office.”


Coronavirus updates: Another prison outbreak, spitting incident, ‘testing desert’ and exhausted nurses

As usual, there’s a lot happening on coronavirus front, so we’re going with quick summaries and headlines in this post, starting with MassLive: “MBTA Transit Police officers start handing face coverings out to passengers after New Balance’s massive, 100,000-mask donation.” … From SHNS (pay wall): “’Testing Desert’ on Cape fueling frustration.” … WBUR reports on another virus outbreak at a state prison, this time at MCI-Shirley Medium. … From the Globe: “Man, 71, arrested for allegedly spitting at women in Ashburnham and telling them he has COVID-19.” … From the Herald: “Massachusetts nurses’ union calls for help for ‘exhausted’ frontline heroes.” … And from the Globe: “Six New Bedford bars fined for violating COVID-19 orders.”

Biden: Warren and Bernie are needed more in the Senate, not his cabinet

Bottom line: They’re staying put. President-elect Joe Biden isn’t ruling out possibly appointing U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders to his new cabinet, as many progressives dearly want. But yesterday he seemed to be gently closing the door on Warren and Sanders joining his team, saying it would be ‘difficult’ to lose the two Dems in the Senate, reports Vaessa Romo at GBH. 


Believe it or not: Trump made small gains in urban areas across Massachusetts

President Trump got an overall shellacking in most urban areas across the state in the Nov. 3 election. Still, he did make small gains three weeks ago, compared to 2016, among voters in many urban areas, some of them in highly unlikely places, such as Boston’s predominantly Black neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan. CommonWealth’s Michael Jonas reports.


Globe readers to newspaper: Oh, we want Trump dragged out of the White House, all right

They aren’t demanding President Trump be tarred and feathered as he leaves the White House in January. But they do want him dragged out of the White House, kicking and screaming if need be, according to the Globe’s Beth Teitell, who has a fun follow-up story this morning about readers’ reaction to her previous piece about how the president might be coaxed, tricked and lured out of the White House, short of dragging him out the front door.

Boston Globe

Shocking poll: Trump would wipe out Baker in a GOP presidential primary in 2024

A Politico/Morning Consult survey shows strong support among Republican voters for Donald Trump should he decide to run for president again in 2024, reports Benjamin Kail at MassLive. And in hypothetical matchups with potential GOP primary contenders – including our very own Charlie Baker – Trump would wipe ‘em all out. We’re not surprised at the results. We are surprised, though, that Baker is even mentioned as a potential contender.


Last seat taken: Dropped recount means Oliveira will join Legislature

And then there were none. Democrat Jacob Oliveira has been declared winner of the open 7th Hampden District House seat after GOP challenger James “Chip” Harrington dropped his recount request, Chris Lisinski at State House News Service reports. The seat is the last to be awarded after the Nov. 3 election because Harrington had initially pursued a recount after one of the town clerks in the district briefly posted incorrect results.  

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

If BPD won’t do it, the Globe will: Newspaper creates its own public database of police disciplinary actions

Good luck getting information from the Boston Police Department regarding alleged misconduct by city cops. The city doesn’t have a comprehensive, transparent database that the public can access on police disciplinary actions. But now the Globe has one – and they’re inviting the public to search away.

Boston Globe

Pot retailers issue blunt warning to regulators: We’ll sue if you pass new marijuana delivery rules next week

SHNS’s Colin Young reports that an attorney representing marijuana retail shop owners has sent a letter to the Cannabis Control Commission bluntly warning that they’ll take legal action if regulators next week, as expected, pass a new rule that would allow some delivery companies to sell pot directly to consumers, saying the commission is overstepping its legal bounds.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Finally: After two years, Pittsfield mayor’s home-improvement plan approved by council

It took two years and an election cycle that revamped the City Council, but Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer has finally won approval for her plan to use GE cleanup funds to create a forgivable loan program to encourage homeowners to spruce up run-down properties, reports Larry Parnass at the Berkshire Eagle. 

Berkshire Eagle

Wake-up call: Lowell council pledges action after fatal fire highlights department’s woes

Members of the Lowell city council are promising action to improve the city’s fire department after a fatal blaze in the city that firefighters were delayed in responding to because of an out-of-service fire truck, Robert Mills at the Lowell Sun reports. The first order of business: Finding more funds for the department, either in the municipal budget or from federal grants. 

Lowell Sun

Not just the Pats: Sox, Celts, Bruins and Revolution also push for sports betting

We knew the New England Patriots were backing efforts to pass legalized sports betting in Massachusetts. But SHNS’s Colin Young (pay wall) reports all five professional sports teams in the state – the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins and Revolution, as well as the Pats – recently signed a letter urging lawmakers to act on sports-betting legislation. Young has the details.

Tear it down: Worcester’s Greendale Mall to face wrecking ball

Talk about a sign of the changing times. A developer is seeking permission to raze the long-struggling Greendale Mall in Worcester and replace it with a distribution center, Nick Kotsopolous at the Telegram reports. The new owners of the 37-year-old mall said plans for a mixed-use development were shelved in part due to the coronavirus pandemic. 


Have a wonderful Thanksgiving – and see you Monday

We’d like to wish all our MassterList readers a happy and safe Thanksgiving. We’ll be taking the long holiday weekend off, but we’ll be back in your inbox on Monday morning.

The First 100 Days: A Conversation with Jacqui Patterson on Climate and Environmental Policy in the Biden Administration

Please join the Center for Public Leadership for a discussion on climate policy with Jacqui Patterson, Senior Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program. The program will be hosted by Rand Wentworth, the Louis and Gabrielle Bacon Senior Fellow in Environmental Leadership, and moderated by Rani Murali, MPP 2021 and Salina Abraham, MPP 2022. RSVP by 9;00 a.m., Tuesday, 12/1.

Harvard Kennedy School of Business

4th Biennial New England Women’s Policy Conference

The New England Women’s Policy Initiative is a longterm, nonpartisan effort to advance economic security, health, & wellbeing of women & their families. NEWPI is spearheaded by the Center for Women in Politics & Public Policy and co-convened by regional partners including Women’s Commissions, Women’s Funds, & nonprofit orgs serving women, & particularly women of color, in the 6 New England states.

Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy

Reimagining Community-Police Partnerships

Dr. Tracie Keesee, Senior Vice President of Justice Initiatives and Co-Founder of the Center for Policing Equity, will explain what conditions are needed to allow for such partnerships to develop and co-production of safety to emerge, to the benefit of all communities, including those who have historically been marginalized.

Harvard Kennedy School of Business

A Climate Policy Revolution: What the Science of Complexity Reveals about Saving Our Planet

This seminar will be given by Roland Kupers, author of A Climate Policy Revolution: What the Science of Complexity Reveals about Saving Our Planet. He is also an advisor on Complexity, Resilience and Energy Transition, as well as a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Amsterdam and a Professor of Practice at the Thunderbird School of Global Management as ASU.

Harvard Kennedy School of Business

Inno on Fire

The Inno on Fire Awards is our annual celebration of innovators, big and small, people, and organizations in Boston. What makes a company or individual on fire? We are looking at startups that have had a banner year, people and companies with hew funding, recent product launches, hot hires, innovative approaches to solving problems, and creative leaders who think out of the box.

Boston Business Journal

Author Adam Davidson with The Passion Economy The New Rules for Thriving in the Twenty-First Century

Boston Public Library and the GBH Forum Network present this virtual program in “The Arc of History: Contested Perspectives” series featuring BPL President David Leonard, who will moderate the program.

Boston Public Library

WBJ Central MA Health Care Forum

Healthcare Post Pandemic: The Covid-19 pandemic has not only claimed over 200,000 lives in our country, but has been a disruptive force to many industries, including healthcare. Join us for this timely and informative webcast where our panel of experts will discuss what has changed since the beginning of the pandemic and what lies ahead.

Worcester Business Journal

Beyond 2D: The Rise of Immersive Commerce

Now more than ever, consumers miss shopping beyond the 2D limitations of technology. Cue, immersive commerce. Brands are exploring new ways of bringing consumers closer to the in-store experience, blending physical and virtual experiences. Join us as we explore how immersive commerce could change consumerism for years to come.


The State of Innovation: Electrification presented by Analog Devices

Across the network, Innos State of Innovations meetups focus on a specific industry, category, theme or individual and will feature a keynote, fireside chat, panel, pitch, demo or a combination of the five. Join us for a conversation with local innovators and experts.

The Boston Business Journals

Author Neal Gabler with Catching the wind: Edward Kennedy and the Liberal Hour, 1932-1975

Join the Boston Public Library and the GBH Forum Network for an online talk with Neal Gabler, author of Catching the Wind: Edward Kennedy and the Liberal Hour, 1932-1975. BPL President David Leonard will moderate this program, which is part of the Arc of History: Contested Perspectives series.

Boston Public Library

2020 Women Who Mean Business

Join us as we celebrate outstanding women at our fourth Women Who Mean Business awards program. These women represent the scale of business in Greater Boston and have demonstrated significant growth in their companies.

Boston Business Journal and Webster Bank

Kay Ulanday Barrett Performing and Answering Questions at the Intersections of Disability, Trans and Racial Justice

LexPride is thrilled to welcome the one-and-only Kay Ulanday Barrett (they/them) to Lexington. Kay is a poet, performer, and educator, navigating life as a disabled pilipinx-amerikan transgender queer in the U.S. with struggle, resistance, and laughter. They are the author of When the Chant Comes and More Than Organs. Kay will perform and answer questions from the audience.

LexPride. Co-sponsored by Boston Pride, Cary Memorial Library, and the Network for Social Justice.

Today’s Headlines


Brockton property tax bills to increase again – Brockton Enterprise

Sen. Ed Markey pledges to fight for better severance packages, protections for laid off Boston Marriott Copley workers – MassLive


Attleboro firefighters demonstrate outside City Hall over Covid coverage – Sun Chronicle

Easthampton eyes zone change for marijuana complex – Daily Hampshire Gazette

Mayor encourages Taunton residents to shop localy – Taunton Gazette


The Inside Story of Michigan’s Fake Voter Fraud Scandal – Politico

McConnell still mum on Biden’s win as Trump administration begins transition – Washington Post

How to Contact MASSterList

Send tips to Matt Murphy: Editor@MASSterList.com. For advertising inquiries and job board postings, please contact Dylan Rossiter: Publisher@MASSterList.com or (857) 370-1156. Follow @MASSterList on Twitter.